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It's well known that members of the John's Island Community Service League are generous philanthropically.

Despite the pandemic putting a halt to person-to-person fundraisers, the JICSL distributed 1.2 million as traditional grants and scholarships in March, 2021. From their Marlyn Scully Strategic Fund, they granted an additional $120,000 in grants this spring and have committed to multi-year grants of $150,000 each to the HEART Program and an Intensive Outpatient Mental Health Program at Cleveland Clinic for teens with severe mental health issues.

Vero Beach 32963

December 2, 2021

By Mary Schenkel

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John’s Island Community Service League members recently triggered a collaborative effort to establish an Eviction Prevention and Diver-sion Mediation Program, which has a goal of keeping tenants in their homes and preventing COVID-19-related evictions by adequately compensating landlords for unpaid rent.


Vero Beach 32963

June 24, 2021

By Mary Schenkel

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New program seeks to keep evicted Indian River County tenant in homes, reimburse landlords

A new partnership between Indian River County, the court system, the bar association, and a local philanthropic organization is making it possible for families facing eviction because of the COVID-19 pandemic to stay in their homes and pay up to $10,500 of their back rent. 

Since last September, the Housing Emergency Advocacy Response Team (HEART) program has arranged free legal .1 

representation for nearly 200 Indian River County families facing eviction because of the pandemic. The program is joint effort by the John's Island Community Service League (JICSL), which provided $150,000 to pay for a program administrator, Florida Rural Legal Services (FRLS), and the Indian River County Bar Association (IRCBA), which arranged for volunteer lawyers to help residents wade through the legal quagmire of evictions and foreclosures

Knowhere Treasure

June 13, 2021
by Jon Pine

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Under normal circumstances, the John’s Island Community Service League has supported its charitable endeavors primarily through fund-raising events and revenue from the Tambourine Shop. But as everyone knows, this past year has been anything but normal.

Curtailing their funding of local charities was never an option for this philanthropic group, who despite the forced cancellation of their 40th Anniversary Gala last March, dispersed a then all-time high of more than $1.2 million in 2020, which included grants to charitable agencies, to the United Way COVID-19 Fund, and to scholarships to John’s Island employees and their children.

Through sheer determination and the generosity of residents and sponsors, the JICSL this fiscal year (May 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021) has surpassed even that amount, distributing more than $1.5 million back into the com-munity.

Vero Beach 32963
April 15, 2021
By Mary Schenkel
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Indian River County residents facing homelessness Jan. 1, when the federal moratorium on evictions and foreclosures expires, have assistance available.

Information about mortgage/rental grant assistance is here. Today’s focus is on legal aid.


The moratorium on evictions does not stop landlords and lenders from filing eviction actions – it only prevents people from being turned out of their homes, said Iola

Mosley, an attorney with Florida Rural Legal Services (FRLS).1 Mosley provides free legal assistance to county residents through the Housing Emergency Advocacy Response Team (HEART), with a $150,000 grant from the John’s Island Community Service League, and assistance from the Indian River County Bar Association.

Treasure Coast
 December 21, 2020
 by Jon Pine
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An attorney with a wealth of relevant experience and knowledge of the unique circumstances around the issues has been hired by Florida Rural Legal Services (FRLS) to oversee a new program designed to assist Indian River County residents facing COVID-related housing challenges such as evictions.

Iola Mosley will serve as housing attorney for FRLS, leading the organization’s Housing Emergency Advocacy Response Team program (HEART), an initiative

underwritten by a grant from the John's Island Community Service League (JICSL).

Treasure Coast
 August 20, 2020
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John’s Island Community Service League is taking action to help county residents facing eviction or foreclosure due to COVID-19-related job losses or other disruptions, leading a collaborative effort called the HEART Program – Housing Emergency Advocacy Re-sponse Team – that will roll July 1.

This comes on top of the group’s earlier response to pandemic-related economic problems.

When the coronavirus began shutting businesses down, the League immediately stepped in and donated $250,000 to the United Way COVID-19 Fund – and successfully challenged other funders to contribute

an additional $200,000 – to help newly unemployed or furloughed residents meet such basic needs as rent, utilities and food. 

For the new program, JICSL will provide $150,000 to fund a dedicated legal aid attorney at the Florida Rural Legal Services to assist Indian River County residents in danger of losing their homes. FRLS has similar programs in Martin, St. Lucie and other counties.

Vero Beach 32963
June 25, 2020
By Mary Schenkel
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Today’s Hometown Hero is Hope Woodhouse, past president of the John’s Island Community Service League, which both donated more than $1 million to 40 nonprofits in and, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, then raised an additional $250,000 for the United Way of Indian County’s COVID-19 Response Fund.


We received so many nominations for Hope Woodhouse as a Hometown Hero that we created this page to share what others have written about her. Here are some of the nominations:


As a fellow John’s Island Community Service League member, a neighbor and friend, I have witnessed firsthand how tirelessly Hope Woodhouse works to help our Vero Beach community and those in need. She is thoughtful, compassionate and determined to help others.

Indian River Magazine
Summer 2020
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John’s Island Service League raises $450,000 to

aid those struggling during COVID-19 pandemic

Some of the most well-to-do in Indian River County have stepped up their generosity toward the community’s most unfortunate during the economic uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.


In addition to donating more than $1 million to 40 nonprofit agencies in this year’s philanthropy program, the John’s Island Community Service League (JICSL) donated an additional $250,000 to the United Way of Indian River County’s COVID-19 Response Fund

Treasure Coast
 May 10, 2020
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Vero Beach 32963
April 23, 2020
By Mary Schenkel
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The Party That Was to Be:

The John’s Island Community Service League has hosted some phenomenal fundraising galas over the years, but the 40th Anniversary Celebration scheduled for March 21, with its "You are the Champions" theme, was gearing up to be even more exceptional - until it too fell victim to the coronavirus pandemic.


In a letter that Hope Woodhouse, JICSL President, and Pat Thompson, chair of the JICSL 40th Anniversary Celebration, sent to ticketholders and sponsors, they noted that in each of the past three years, the league distributed more than $1 million in donations to local agencies and scholarships to John's Island employees and their children. About half was raised through galas.


Vero Beach 32963
April 2, 2020
By Mary Schenkel
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Vero Beach Magazine
February 2020
By Amy Robinson
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The John’s Island Community Service League kicked off its 40th anniversary season with a record crowd of 225 People at it's 40th Opening Luncheon last Monday, which featured guest speaker Stacey Watson-Mesley, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters, St. Lucie, Indian River and Okeechobbee Counties. 


At the start of the luncheon, Hope Woodhouse, JICSL

board president, directed people's attention to a video tribute created by Pat Thompson that highlighted past and present members of the league, created in 1980 by Johnny Van Name.

Vero Beach 32963
November 14, 2019
By Mary Schenkel
JI Service League has awarded $1 million the last two years
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VERO BEACH -- The John’s Island Community Service League may be the best kept philanthropic secret in Vero. The organization has handed out more than $1 million in grants the last two years. Since 1980, the JICSL has supported dozens of non-profits with more $13 million in donations.

Press Journal
May 1, 2019
By Christina Mordenti Tascon
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Vero Beach Flash
April 25, 2019
By Christina Mordenti Tascon
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Members of the John’s Island Community Service League

and representatives of the 38 Indian River County agencies they are providing grants to this year had a lot to celebrate last Monday as they gathered for the JICSL Closing Luncheon at the John's Island Club.

Vero News
April 18, 2019
By Mary Schenkel
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There were more than 470 happy revelers at the John’s Island Community Service League’s annual gala on

March 9.

Thank some lucky stars for providing clear, beautiful weather as guests enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres on the Golf Club terrace as a surprise guest parachuted down to the putting green. Yes, an evening in fabulous Las Vegas is not complete without a Flying Elvis with fireworks shooting from his blue suede shoes.

TC Palm
March 20, 2019
By Christina Tascon
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John's Islanders showed a "hunka-hunka burning love" in support of local nonprofit organizations at the John's Island Community Service League's "Fabulous Las Vegas last Saturday night. The claim that "what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas" is hardly applicable to this generous Vero Vegas group, where dollars raised will be spread far and wide across the county.

"We have more than 1,000 members now," said Hope Woodhouse, JICSL board president. "This is the second year in a row that we'll be giving out more than $1 million." 

This year the Service League will provide grants toward the operating expenses of 39 agencies that provide services to women, children and families in need of health, education and human services, plus scholarships for the children of John's Island employees.  

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Vero Beach 32963
March 14, 2019
By Mary Schenkel

A jubilant group of ladies gathered for a Celebration of Hope last Monday morning at the 38th annual John's Island Community Service League closing meeting, held at the John's Island Golf Club.

JICSL members were joined by the representatives of 39 nonprofit agencies to rejoice in the announcement that the league gave away $1,025,000 this year. Community grants were provided to charities that serve local women, children and families through their health, eduction and human resources programs, and scholarships were awarded to the children of John's Island employees.

Vero Beach 32963
April 26, 2018
By Stephanie LaBaff

The John’s Island Community Service League weighed anchor last Saturday evening, taking guests of a cruise on the high seas with a Makin' Waves Gala at the John's Island Golf Club. The committee, chaired by Karen Drrury, fully delivered on its promises of first-class fun and frolic, in the process raising huge amounts to support the community through grants to local nonprofits and scholarships to the children of john's Island employees.

Vero Beach 32963
March 15, 2018
By Mary Schenkel

Healthy Start Coalition's doula program seeing positive outcomes

VERO BEACH — Whether it’s a mother’s first birth, or not, the Indian River County Healthy Start Coalition’s Doula Program is discovering many positive results since launching the program in the fall of 2016.

First, what are  doulas? They are trained non-medical professionals who provide continuous physical, emotional and informational support to a mother before, during and shortly after childbirth to help her achieve the healthiest, most satisfying experience possible.

T C Palm
August 2, 2017
By Beverly S. Paris

Circus, circus!  JI fundraising gala goes

over the "Top"

The circus came to town in a big way last Wednesday evening at a Big Top by the Sea Gala at the John's Island Beach Club hosted by the ultra-creative John's Island Community Service League, which produced an event to rival Barnum and Bailey's Greatest Show on Earth.

"I've always liked the circus as a child and I thought it would make a good venue for a benefit to celebrate our past," said Big Top Chair Ginger DeSimone. "It was just a coincidence that Ringling Bros. decided to fold their tent in May right after our benefit. So now it seems like it's appropriate to have a farewell circus event".

Proceeds from the evening, as with all the wonderful JICSL events, will support local charitable initiatives, this year funneling more than $950,000 back into the community. The money will fund grants to 37 different agencies and will also provide scholarships to children of John's Island employees.

Vero Beach 32963
April 13 2017
By Mary Schenkel

All good:  JI Community Service  

Event hails successes

Pat Thompson, current John's Island Community Service League president, welcomed guests to the group's 37th annual luncheon last Monday at the John's Island Golf Club.  The luncheon featured keynote speaker Laura Rebell Gross, who spoke about the remarkable Young Women's Leadership Network.

Vero Beach 32963
January 19, 2017
By Mary Schenkel

STEP into Kindergarten:  Giant Leap for kids' education

Having children kindergarten ready – “prepared across the five critical domains: social/emotional, physical health and well-being, cognitive, communication and adaptive learning” – is an integral part of the countywide Moonshot Moment goal of reaching 90 percent literacy by third grade. One major tool in that arsenal is STEP into Kindergarten (Summer Transition Enrichment Program), a community partnership funded through the Education Foundation of Indian River County and implemented by the School District of Indian River County.

September 22, 2016 
By Mary Schenkel


VERO BEACH, Florida - (Wednesday, May 18th, 2016) – Recently, VNA Home Health and Hospice received a $25,000 grant

from the John’s Island Community Service League. The funding will benefit the non-profit’s Medicaid-Eligible Patient

Care Program (M-EPCP).

The “stars at night were big and bright” last Wednesday at the John’s IslandCommunity Service League’s Texas-sized fundraiser, Lone Star on theBeach. More than 400 members andinvited guests two-stepped their wayover to the John’s Island Beach Cluband right from the start knew they werein for a wild ride.


Vero Beach 32963
April 14, 2016
By Mary Schenkel

Indian River County

Gives Children's


Big Raise

TC Palm 
March 8, 2016
By Colleen Wixon

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — It's easier and cheaper to help floundering families raise school-ready children than it is to pay for their anti-social adulthood, numerous speakers told Indian River County Commissioners on Tuesday.

March 8, 2016
By Kathleen Sloan
February 1, 2016
By Stephanie LaBuff
Vero Beach 32963
January 21, 2016
By Mary Schenkel
Vero Beach 32963
December 3, 2015
By Mary Schenkel
Vero Beach Magazine
November 2015
By Ann Taylor